Why Customer Service Is Just A Sh*tty Sales Job.

I’m talking about low pay customer service jobs here. I currently moonlight as a coffee shop girl and let me tell you, it’s not as easy as it looks.

First off, last night we had to call the cops because some gentleman was jerking off in the parking lot.

Second, you are there to serve so you are pretty much acting the whole time unless someone you genuinely like comes into the store.

That’s not really a bad thing, but having had a brief “real” sales job at a newspaper previously (before it went out of business, hello social media) this job feels a LOT like sales, minus the great pay and incentives.

Here’s Why:

  1. You are to have a smile on your face at all times and greet everyone with an overzealous hello. *This one makes people’s day, especially in the morning… so it’s a positive*
  2. If you’re good at your job you will remember their order, name, kid’s names, work, hobbies, kid’s hobbies, dogs name.
  3. Up sell. Up sell. Up sell.
  4. Look nice. Arrive early. Do your best every, single, day.
  5. If you’re lucky — or cursed (depending which way you look at it) you’ll have opportunities to advance up the ranks. Head barista, shift supervisor, assistant manager, with about a .10 cent raise.
  6. You’ll laugh a lot, or cry a lot, but you’ll never fail to meet interesting people along the way.
  7. You will definitely get yelled at and talked down too should something go wrong and you piss the wrong customer off.
  8. If you are aware, you’ll gain valuable skills… mostly the ability to smile back at someone who is screaming their order at you asking for “less foam”.

 

Is it worth it in the end?

Of course.

Let’s not knock anyone for earning an honest wage, but let’s call it for what it is at the same time.

The reason for this post?

Dude, someone was jerking off in the parking lot…and we are earning minimum wage to make them a coffee.

Onward and upward my friends. This is just a shoutout to the men and women in customer service and the real sh*t they have to put up with. It’s okay to love the job and it’s okay to use it as a stepping stone as well.

From the bottom of my heart, I see you out there working away and I salute you.

Love always,

Carlee.

Dealing With Heartbreak While Running A Business.

I thought of the idea for this piece last night while lazying around in the tub. Sometimes it’s easy to find things to write about, sometimes it feels like the ideas are right there at the tip top of my brain but I can’t access them. Isn’t it strange? Now I know why so many writers before me tried vodka or whiskey to loosen up a bit and get over the keyboard jitters.

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dramatic photo for a dramatic topic?

Don’t worry. I don’t drink, anymore. Enough of my rambling though. Dealing with heartbreak is never fun, ever. It’s always messy and you end up on your bed at 2 am with  melted chocolate smothered on your pajama bottoms; crumpled up tissues littered across the comforter.

“I loved him” … “How did this happen?” … “It wasn’t suppose to turn out this way”.

All things I’ve sobbed into the phone while my best friend says “He was an absolute ass hat.”

 

It’s tough, it’s really tough if you’re heartbroken over a lover. It can happen for any reason, perhaps you simply weren’t meant to be or perhaps something more tragic happened and someone you loved dearly passed away.

It’s even harder when you have a business to run and you’ve got to stay strong. You are the last line of defence, employees come to you, customers come to you, your dog comes to you looking for comfort. It can be even harder when you’re just starting a business and your only employee is yourself.

You have to keep pushing on through the grief. You must keep putting one foot in front of the other despite the black glob of grief that has lodged itself in the centre of your chest.

It can be a great for a few brief moments to distract the mind and it’s even better to dive into something and use all of that emotion to fuel you and fuel the business. Growth can often be seen in times of struggle.

Don’t let anything stop you. Sure, you may have just been dumped by who you thought was the “love of your life” or maybe you did the dumping (you powerful goddess you). Your business, the thing you are passionate about, that thing you’ve been working so hard for… it’s still there and it needs you. Take life’s challenges and be vulnerable, get real, help others through the same damn things.

The things in my life that I thought were terrible misfortunes always have a way of ending up to be huge blessings in disguise. It might take months, it may even take years, but one day you’ll be glad it happened and you’ll be glad you put all that fierce energy into your business.

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This isn’t really a “how-to” blog post because I believe everyone processes grief differently and what might work for one person won’t necessarily work for the other. So do whatever you have to do in order to get back to grinding, to step back into that hustle and focus.

Have a personal talk with yourself in the mirror, you are a badass after all. Listen to music, put your headphones in and drown it out. Go for a long walk and just breath. Do some yoga and read something spiritual. Do what you have to do.

This is more of a reminder blog post… reminding you that you won’t feel bad forever. That the business is there for a reason. That you can and will hustle through it and your competition should be scared. That you are a badass goddess and should treat yourself as such.

Cry, eat the chocolate, feel the grief, inhale deeply – exhale it all out and focus baby, focus.

 

Love to you from the bottom of my heart,

Carlee. xo

Find me on Instagram @theselfcareenthusiast 

Write me an email on anything you’d like me to write about: theselfcareenthusiast@gmail.com

 

 

Gossip Is Not A Form Of Connection

I just read Lauren Evarts Instagram post about emotional intelligence and the last indicator of EQ was that those who have emotional intelligence do not view gossip as a way of connecting.  

THAT has to be one of the best things I’ve ever read. I’m going to be straight up honest with you, for a long time that’s exactly how I connected with people, especially other women. Gossip was just an accepted form of communication amongst high school girls and even later in office settings.

Wherever I have worked it hasn’t mattered the age or gender of the person there has always been gossip.

The truth about gossip though is that it never comes from someone who is on their A game. When you are the one giving out the gossip you immediately put yourself at a disadvantage. You are showing weakness and plain bad character.

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Why is gossip so bad? 

Aside from ruining someones reputation or day, you will NEVER be able to build a relationship of trust from gossip. Immediately it puts you in a place of distrust and any relationship built with it will have no solid foundation.

Your leverage is gone, you have no credibility and you are choosing to communicate with literally the lowest form of communication there is. Why would anyone want that?

We all saw the movie Mean Girls and it was called Mean Girls for a reason. The movie might have been okay to watch but in real life everyone just thinks you’re a bitch.

Positive, successful people all share traits of kindness, empathy, and optimism. Truly successful people help each other to succeed and give positive feedback. It is necessary to be truthful and straightforward and sometimes that’s going to mean saying something abrupt, but it will never be deliberately gossiping or spreading falsehoods about someone else to get ahead.

To close this short, but important piece I will say anyone who is striving for more in life will do themselves a huge favour by focusing on engaging – thought provoking – inspiring conversations and cutting the gossip out completely.  When you go to sleep at night at least this way you will feel good about who you are as a human being and so will many others.

Carlee Lloyd

*Connect with me on LinkedIn, seriously it’s awesome over there.

What Attempted Suicide Taught Me About Living & Thriving In Business

I had been in bed for 3 consecutive days only getting up to relieve myself and grab more alcohol from the fridge. After the third day the liquor was getting scarce and I was left with my own thoughts. I had moved away from my family for a man. Adventure, excitement and  love were all things I thought would be speeding into my life, just as I sped down the highway away from everything I once knew. After only a few short months it was apparent that I had made a gross misjudgment of the situation…it had been a long standing joke that I lived with “rose-colored glasses” and this time was no exception.

 

I had been an alcoholic since the age of fifteen. The moment I had taken my first drink I felt alive, more alive than I had ever felt before and any self-conscious  limiting beliefs seemed to melt away. I felt invincible. Of course, that too only lasted for a brief moment before the drink took over my life and consumed my every thought. Naturally, as any alcoholic would, I found a partner that wouldn’t be turned off by the whiskey glass glued to my right hand.

 

On the morning of my attempt the air felt heavy and I couldn’t stop crying. It felt as if years worth of emotions were coming to the surface and spilling over the top uncontrollably. Trying to explain depression to someone who doesn’t have it is challenging, if you haven’t experienced it there’s no way to truly grasp the feeling. It is like an emptiness,  the most empty feeling you could possibly imagine, there is no happiness or joy or positivity. A void as dark and grim as any monster in any fairy-tale we read as children.

 

The details of the event aren’t at all spectacular, in fact for something as pivotal as suicide they are actually quite boring. I thought taking an entire bottle of acetaminophen would do the trick but I was only able to get a handful of them down before resting for what I thought was only a few moments…  hours later I awoke to myself vomiting all over the bed. I was cold, achy and felt like I couldn’t move. The goodbye letter I had written before lay crumpled into the sheets, dripping of guilt and shame and “I love you’s”.

 

To make what could be an incredibly long and tumultuous story into a nice little article, I’ll move right along in telling you later that evening I checked myself into the Woodstock General Hospital – Psychiatric Ward. I was given an exquisite psychiatrist and stayed there for three weeks in a small room, like the movies go it had four white walls and a window that overlooked the dumpster.

 

So, what did I learn from this experience that can be transferred to business? What did one of the lowest points in my life teach me about living authentically?

 

  1. Knowing what you stand for is easier than knowing “who you are”

 

I fell into the trap of trying to “find” myself instead of just sitting down and figuring out who I wanted to be and what my values were. Not having those things narrowed down made me open to making unwise decisions like moving across the province of Ontario in pursuit of love. The business world is full of strong personalities and unless you know exactly what it is you stand for, unless you have a solid set of values and a strong conviction to those values, you’re going to get pushed around. I had to take the time to ask myself “okay, who do I admire, how did they become so successful, and what values do they have?”. The people I most admire hold values of kindness, consistency, authenticity, compassion and work ethic. It was then a matter of holding myself to a higher standard than before and emulating those values in my own life.

 

  1. Everybody has a story, everybody is trying to make it.

 

Rich Cardona, CEO of Flybys Media, actually said this to me a few months ago and I immediately remembered the moment I too came to this realization. “Everyone’s just trying to make it. I’m trying to make it, you’re trying to make it, Claude is trying to make it” he said.

 

It’s true, it’s so very true. Even Steve Babcock, Chief Creative Office of VaynerMedia posted on his Instagram yesterday: “want your life”, meaning everyone admires all of these amazing people, everyone wishes they could be someone else…but someone out there is wishing for your life. YES, this is another “be grateful for what you have” paragraph, but until you truly grasp what that means you’re going to be so deeply unfulfilled that nothing will ever be good enough. That emptiness I spoke of previously will consume you and you’ll be fighting to hold onto any amount of happiness from any direction (drugs, alcohol, food, porn) until you are simply depleted.

 

Alternatively because everyone is simply trying to make something of themselves in this world, we can be a little kinder, judge less, thank often and help whenever we can. Be kinder to yourself too, someone out there sees you hustling, grinding, putting in the effort and if you just keep going despite any setback things will come together for you.

 

  1. Strength comes from within. You were probably born with it, you just didn’t know it.

 

Can you think of a time when you were strong? Perhaps as a child when you stood up to a bully or found the courage to do something daring. Perhaps it was a few weeks ago when you overcame fear and spoke to someone new for the first time in months. Whatever the case, you probably realize you have had moments of being strong for quite some time. It wasn’t until after I had overcome addiction that I realized no one is weak, no one who is actually trying for something greater is a weak person. We all have strength, true grit, determination. How we put that determination into action is what matters. Many successful individuals have the burning desire to win…they feel it in their bellies, the fire consumes them so greatly that it is all they can think about. Their nature and fierce will makes them strong enough to overcome any obstacle in their path. And so this too brings us to the realization that strength cannot be from any outside source, to truly stay consistent in our strength it must come from that vulnerable and fierce place within.

 

Mark Metry, host of Humans 2.0 Podcast spoke with me yesterday and said “We all have the Humans 2.0 Version inside of us at all times, it’s just a matter of accessing it. I can look back in my own life and see moments where I was that version 2.0 as a young child. At 6 years old I would collect and trade baseball cards and Pokemon cards, and that’s how I got money to buy food because I didn’t want to ask my parents for money, we were very poor.”

 

You can come back from the lowest point in your life and make something out of it. You can inspire other people and create a lasting change in the world around you. And if nothing else, you always have a cool story to tell.

As my friend Wayne Mcleod once said “Don’t forget, everyone likes a comeback story”.

 

Carlee Lloyd.

 

Can You Make Me Feel? |The Real Power Of Branding|

This might be a short little post about the power of emotion and why it is, at least to me, the only real factor when it comes down to branding. I feel this way because consumers are people, and people, most of them…feel.

The largest determining factor for me when I buy something or connect with someone is always how I feel.

Our emotions fuel every small and large decision we make. I mean, yes rational thinking comes into play, but when you feel strongly for something…sooner or later it’s going to win you over. Emotion is a beautiful thing, it starts relationships, builds communities and brings people together in acts of humanity.

When we begin branding we play around with our colour choices, logo design and tag-line. We have fun thinking of content ideas and mapping out the structure of our business, blog or You-Tube Channel. We take the time to break down our social media pages and make sure they look cute and polished. If for a single minute we forget about who we’re trying to bring value too with our product, service or content then we have done a great disservice to the consumer and to ourselves.

How people feel when they see you, your content, your product, or after they use your service should be the single most important thing in your mind while you are combing through your social media or creating a logo.

Without evoking emotion you cannot create an actual connection with someone…and isn’t that what you want to do after all?

It is wildly important to remember that behind every screen there is a human being. On the other side of that LinkedIn account there is a real human being typing out a real and often emotional response.

Branding the right way means having respect for the human being behind the technology, and truly connecting on that human level.

So how do you create a deeper connection?

Ask questions.

Actually care.

Have empathy for the consumer.

Do your market research.

Support your community 100%.

Give them something worth their time and energy.

Put yourself in their shoes.

Be honest, open, relatable, vulnerable and real.

 

 

 

The Ozzy Osbourne Content Creation Method

Ozzy is a rock legend, his vocal talent was clearly bestowed upon him by the rock god’s themselves. He is so insanely talented that it would be hard to picture him doing anything else, I mean could you see him sitting behind the desk at a dental office answering phones? No-one would be able to understand him at all!

It is amazing to me that people like Ozzy are such obvious examples of the fact that we all have strengths and weaknesses, and the people who use their strengths ultimately find their innate gifts and change the world. Ozzy isn’t a talk show host for a reason… whenever I’ve watched him do an interview I could barely make out every other word. [maybe it’s just me but somehow I doubt it]

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So many people are stuck because they’re trying to be a receptionist or a day-time television host instead of the amazing lead vocalist they were truly meant to be.

Content creation is a beautiful thing for many reasons, but my most favour is that it allows people to be truly creative and express themselves. A side bonus to all of the creativity is that it generates awareness and revenue for personal brands and companies when used correctly.

By now you probably understand the method, find your talent as a creative and shine as bring as you can using that method. If you are a writer then you should be writing long stories here on LinkedIn that matter to people, grab readers attention and make them feel something, really take them on a journey and use all 1300 characters. If you’re good in front of the camera, as a videographer, podcaster, graphic artist, or have a gift for interviewing people use it. Whatever it is, do that and find a way to collaborate with people who have talent in the areas you lack.

The cool thing is that just like creatives have different talents, people consume content differently. I absolutely love reading books, but my friend swears by the fact that she’s only read one book in her entire life and chooses to consume content in video form. Whatever your talent is, video – written word – audio – interviewing – art, there are people primed to consume it in that way. It’s like we were all made to fit together and support one another.

So how do you really know which creation method suits you?

The only real answer is to get out there and try different forms of content creation and see which one works for you. Chances are you may already know you have serious skills as a videographer or writer and you may want to use that method of creation first before branching out into others to really build a solid foundation.

Ask for honest feedback and you will receive it. LinkedIn is an amazing platform where so many people would be happy to give you a real answer, in a really nice way. Truly listen to the feedback you receive, both positive and constructive. This one tip alone will put you years ahead of the game if you actually listen and then execute. Once you start putting your work out there you will be able to see consumer reactions quite quickly and gauge what your next step should be.

Don’t be discouraged if the form you thought you’d be great at doesn’t work, you have so many options for creative content production and it takes patience to learn, improve your skills, test audience reactions and ultimately grow an audience. If you truly feel absolutely deep in your soul, down to the very heart of you passionate about a certain creation method like videography or podcasting, take the time to get serious and learn that skill to the best of your ability. Once your audience starts to grow, nurture it by connecting with each one of them one on one. This takes some time but nothing beats real genuine connections that ultimately turn into friendships.

This steps also takes some serious insight into who you actually are as a person and who you want to be. Is your voice similar to Ozzy’s, you mumble when you talk but you can sing a wicked tune? Chances are you were made to sing. Same goes for each one of the methods… during this journey you may even find to your benefit, that you have talent in a few areas.

How Do You Find People To Collaborate With?

Asking for help or advice is really positive and humble place to start. You will be connecting with people that are skilled and talented in different areas than you, who will know more than you and when you come from a place of humility they will teach you, trust me. LinkedIn is full of creative people looking to collaborate and help each other succeed. It takes a bit of creativity in the inbox, sharing a personal story about yourself and truly helping them to see your vision. It is a marketplace of creativity and you my friend have taken the first step by making an account.

Ask and you shall receive. This the no bulls*t way to how I have landed some really amazing interviews and received advice from people much, much….much more successful than I am.

Seriously take a look at yourself through the Ozzy lens, are you a receptionist or a rock-star? Either one is fine but it’s about staying true to yourself, knowing where your strengths are and collaborating to reach the next level. Ozzy after all was in a band called Black Sabbath, he needed people to play the other instruments and create some epic music.

Let me know your thoughts. I cover tips to becoming more creative, forward thinking and generating new revenue on my show Revenue Monkey #revenuemonkey. See you tomorrow for Self-Care for Your Business Monday.

Carlee. – The Self-Care Enthusiast & Host of Revenue Monkey.

http://www.theselfcareenthusiast.com